CARLISLE, PA. - The GIANT Company awarded over 100 small businesses and farms in Pennsylvania’s food supply chain with its emergency grant program in partnership with Team Pennsylvania. Initially the grant program totaled $250,000 but after an overwhelming response of applicants the company doubled total grant funds to $500,000.
The individual grants range from $2,500 to $15,000 and went to 110 recipients including dairy farms; beef, pork and poultry farms; processors; orchards; produce farms; apiaries; maple syrup producers; artisan cheesemakers; craft breweries, winemakers and cider producers; specialty yogurt, snack, sauce and condiment manufacturers; and a coffee roastery and confectioner.
“Reviewing more than 500 applications from small businesses across the commonwealth confirmed what we knew in our hearts: that the pandemic is having a devastating impact on our small business community,” said Nicholas Bertram, president of The GIANT Company. “We’re inspired by the strength and stories of these local businesses that, in many cases, have been serving our communities for generations. As a company focused on connecting families for a better future, doubling the funding to $500,000 was an easy decision because it meant we could provide more hope and help to these hard-working families and let them know that they are not alone.”
Over half of the grants were awarded to PA Preferred companies and companies with special designations such as LGBT-owned, veteran-owned, women-owned, minority-owned, USDA defined beginner rancher/farmer, USDA defined socially disadvantaged and limited resource farmer.
“We have been in business since 1887 and we are a 5th generation family run business,” said Karen Thompson of Clair D. Thompson's and Son's Inc., Jersey Shore, Pa., one of the grant recipients. “We've been through the Great Depression, floods and fire but this is by far the worst in modern memory because not only does it affect us but it affects all of our customers - no one is left out. It has been very stressful, and this grant has helped to alleviate some of that pressure.”